Objective: General self-efficacy has been found to be an influential variable related to the adaptation to stress and chronic illness, with the General Self-Efficacy (GSE) Scale by Jerusalem and Schwarzer being a reliable and valid instrument to assess this disposition. The aim of this study was to construct and test a short form of this scale to allow for a more economical assessment of the construct.Methods: The item characteristics of the original scale were assessed using an intercultural non-clinical sample (n=19,719). Six items with the highest coefficient of variation and good discrimination along the range of the trait were selected to build a short form of the instrument (GSE-6). Subsequently, the psychometric properties and the concurrent and predictive validity of the GSE-6 were tested in a longitudinal design with three measurements using a sample of patients with risk factors for heart failure (n=1,460).Results: Cronbach’s alpha for the GSE-6 was between .79 and .88. We found negative associations with symptoms of depression (–.35 and –.45), anxiety (–.35), and vital exhaustion (–.38) and positive associations with social support (.30), and mental health (.36). In addition, the GSE-6 score was positively associated with active problem-focused coping (.26) and distraction/self-encouragement (.25) and negatively associated with depressive coping (–.34). The baseline GSE-6 score predicted mental health and physical health after 28 months, even after controlling for the respective baseline score. The relative stability over twelve and 28 months was r=.50 and r=.60, respectively, while the mean self-efficacy score did not change over time.Conclusions: The six item short form of the GSE scale is a reliable and valid instrument that is useful for the economical assessment of general self-efficacy in large multivariate studies and for screening purposes.